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Berkshire County, Massachusetts

Berkshire County

Berkshire County was founded on April 21, 1761 from Hampshire County. The county was named for the English county of Berkshire.

Currently the Berkshire County Seat is situated in Pittsfield and the county government was abolished on July 1, 2000

Places adjacent to Berkshire County are Bennington County, Vermont (north), Franklin County (northeast), Hampshire County (east), Hampden County (southeast), Litchfield County, Connecticut (south), Columbia County, New York (west), Rensselaer County, New York (northwest).

Cities and towns situated in Berkshire County are made up of Adams, Alford, Becket, Cheshire, Clarksburg, Cummington, Dalton, Egremont, Florida, Great Barrington, Hancock, Hinsdale, Housatonic, Lanesborough, Lee, Lenox, Monterey, Mount Washington, New Ashford, New Marlborough, North Adams, Otis, Peru, Pittsfield, Richmond, Sandisfield, Savoy, Sheffield, Stockbridge, Tyringham, Washington, West Stockbridge, Williamstown and Windsor.

Berkshire County vital records can be found at the Massachusetts Office of Vital Records has copies of birth, marriage, divorce and death records. There is a fee for each copy requested. Please refer to the information to the Statewide Vital Records in Massachusetts for current fees and application process. Vital Records have been registered in Massachusetts since 1635. Statewide collection began in 1841. There is a fee for each copy requested. Records for events that occurred from 1841-1910 are available at the State Archives.

You can search online for Berkshire County Birth, Marriage, Divorce or Death Records. You can also Order Electronically Online or can download an application for Massachusetts Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Death Certificate Applications to mail.

Berkshire County does have Federal Census Schedules to guide in looking into your family tree. Federal government Population Schedules are available for 1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.

Berkshire Co. Mortality Schedules can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Berkshire Co. Industry and Agriculture Schedules can be found for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Berkshire Co. Union Veterans Schedules can be found for 1890. One can find free online and printable census forms that can help with your research.

Berkshire County Society and Family History Resources

A list of Berkshire County Historical  and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.

Berkshire County Courthouse and Government Records

Berkshire County Courthouse

Genealogist often overlook the great importance of Berkshire County court, probate, and land records as a useful resource of ancestry and genealogy details. Hidden away in Massachusetts courthouses and archives just about everywhere are the aspirations and frustrations of many Massachusetts inhabitants. The odds are great that your chosen ancestors have left a detailed document of at least quite a few facets of their lives in the Berkshire County court records. Even if your ancestors is not referred to in a Court case, take into account all of the other methods which often can have lead to her or him appearing in court records.

The following information and facts shows whatever birth, marriage, death, property, probate, and legal records will be in Berkshire County. The dates indicated below could be the first recognized records data for this particular county.

Remember to get in touch with the clerk's dept to verify hours, mailing address, fees and other facts prior to visiting or asking for information because of many times changing contact details. The Department Offices DO NOT DO RESEARCH. The data files are readily available to interested parties, barring confidential issues. A lot of staff will aid persons in finding the resources, however it is up to the individual to perform the basic research. For Town Records contact the Town Clerk (Helpful Telephone Listings for your City/Town Hall)
  • Berkshire County Register of Deeds is the place where all transactions of a Real Property nature are recorded so that the public is made aware of their existence. Deeds, mortgages, tax liens, water liens, declaration of homestead and many other kinds of documents regarding the title and ownership of real estate are noted permanently in official records.
    • Northern District, 65 Park Street, Adams, MA 01220; (413) 743-0035; The Northern District includes the towns of Adams, Cheshire, Clarksburg, Florida, Hancock, Lanesboro, New Ashford, North Adams, Savoy, Williamstown and Windsor.
    • Middle District, 44 Bank Row, Pittsfield, MA 01201; (413) 443-7438; The Middle District includes the towns of Becket, Dalton, Hinsdale, Lee, Lenox, Otis, Peru, Pittsfield, Richmond, Stockbridge, Tyringham and Washington.
    • Southern District, 334 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA 01230; (413) 528-0146; The Southern District includes the towns of Alford, Egremont, Great Barrington, Monterey, Mount Washington, New Marlborough, Sandisfield, Sheffield and West Stockbridge.
    • Land Records: 1761
  • Berkshire County Clerk of Probate Court has many responsibilities which include the administration of estates, probate of wills, and the appointment of guardians, have been under the jurisdiction of the courts since the 1630s. County courts and later, county judges of probate, were responsible for these functions until 1783, when the probate courts were established. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the probate and family courts were given jurisdiction over adoptions, divorces, name changes, and domestic relations.
    • Address: 44 Bank Row, Pittsfield, MA 01201
    • Phone: (413) 442-6941
    • Probate Records: 1761 
  • Berkshire County Clerk of Courts has jurisdiction over all civil, criminal, and equity cases.
    • Address: 76 East Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201
    • Phone: (413) 499-7487
    • Court Records: 1761 
  • Berkshire County Town Clerks has copies of vital records (birth, marriage, divorce and death records). Clerks respond to inquiries regarding vital records, since most have indexes available. They also have tax lists that may still be available at the town office. Earlier taxes for the towns exist as well.
  • Massachusetts Office of Vital Records has copies of birth, marriage, divorce and death records. There is a fee for each copy requested. Please refer to the information to the Statewide Vital Records in Massachusetts for current fees and application process. Birth, marriage, and death records are connected with central life events. Vital Records have been registered in Massachusetts since 1635. Statewide collection began in 1841.

Berkshire County Links

The following are links to Family history and genealogy, Records and Resources relevant to Berkshire County. A lot of these genealogy links fall into 3 categories: Business oriented Sites, Personal Sites or Organization Sites. Some have free access some call for a cost. This is just a collection which has been compiled or submitted. I do not recommend or promote one genealogy site above another. Feel free to present your own preferred Berkshire County genealogy or family history associated sites.

Berkshire Co. MA Books, Newspapers & Publications

Berkshire Co. MA Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Berkshire Co. MA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Berkshire Co. MA Census Records

Berkshire Co. MA Cemeteries & Graveyards

Berkshire Co. MA Church & Bible Records

Berkshire Co. MA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Berkshire Co. MA General and History Websites

Berkshire Co. MA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Berkshire Co. MA Military Records

Berkshire Co. MA Schools & Directories

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